Aintree on the agenda for Shakem Up'Arry as Ben Pauling plots more big-race success for festival winner

Shakem Up'Arry and Ben Jones win the Plate at Cheltenham
Shakem Up'Arry and Ben Jones win the Plate at CheltenhamCredit: Mark Cranham

Ben Pauling reports Cheltenham Festival winner Shakem Up'Arry in "incredible form" but says he is more likely to go for the Topham Chase than the Grand National at Aintree.

The ten-year-old provided owner Harry Redknapp and jockey Ben Jones with their first festival winners in the Plate Handicap Chase this month, while Pauling landed his fourth success at the iconic meeting.

The Gloucestershire-based trainer is focused on Shakem Up'Arry's next assignment, which is expected to be in the Topham on April 12 as he is too far down in the weights for the £1 million Aintree showpiece a day later, with the race reduced from 40 to 34 runners this year.

Pauling said: "He’ll go in one of them at Aintree because he’s made for those races over the fences. He’s 44th in the weights for the National and last year he would have been sitting pretty, but it seems unlikely he’ll go there."

Shakem Up'Arry is a best-priced 14-1 for the Topham and as big as 66-1 for the National.

He will head to Aintree on a hat-trick after his Cheltenham wins on New Year's Day and at the festival.

Pauling said: "He’s brilliant and he’s in absolutely incredible form. I never want to jump ship whenever I like a horse and I’ve always thought he could be a proper one.

"He’s now rated 149, and in my eyes that’s a very nice horse – he’s what I expected him to be. He’s got a great attitude and he jumps for fun."

Randox Topham Handicap Chase (Aintree, April 12)

SkyBet: 7 Crebilly, 8 In Excelsis Deo, 10 Shakem Up'Arry, 12 Bill Baxter, Heltenham, Quick Draw, Your Darling, 14 Life In The Park, Sail Away, The Goffer, 16 bar

Randox Grand National (Aintree, April 13)

Coral: 4 Corach Rambler, 10 I Am Maximus, Vanillier, 12 Panda Boy, 14 Mahler Mission, Meetingofthewaters, 16 Kitty's Light, Minella Indo, Noble Yeats, 20 bar

Read these next:

Monbeg Genius and Hewick among 17 horses scratched from this year's Grand National 

'We'll step him up to three miles now' - improved Iroko set for Aintree after pleasing Cheltenham return from injury 

Racing Post Members' Club: 50% off your first three months 

Do you want £700+ of free bets? Racing Post have got the best offers, all in one place. Visit to find out more.

Liam HeaddReporter

Published on 30 March 2024inBritain

Last updated 13:15, 30 March 2024